Drawn toward healthier living, Seychellois naturopath helps heal illnesses naturally
Pascal Chang Leng is a local naturopathic clinician and practises evidence-based medicine blended with traditional teachings. (Salifa Karapetyan, Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Some people seeking to heal illnesses associated with the busy, modern world are choosing a return to nature. One way to do that is to visit a naturopath, a health practitioner who applies natural therapies.
Pascal Chang Leng, 30, a local naturopathic clinician and operator of the Vitality centre located in the La Ciotat building, Mont Fleuri, shared with SNA how he is helping his clients heal the natural way.
SNA: Why did you choose to practice naturopathy rather than conventional medicine?
PCL: At the age of 14, I became dissatisfied with the dominant religion in our country, the one I was brought up in. I was drawn to a nature-based religion and wanted to stop using chemical medications. I started to change my diet and geared towards a healthier way of living, and was thus drawn to a profession that worked closely and in harmony with nature -- something that was compatible with my spiritual philosophy.
The world had already started learning of the toxin and harmful side effects of Western pharmaceuticals and I had also learnt that didn’t want to go in that artificial, synthetic direction. I practised for two years in Melbourne, Australia and five years in Seychelles.
SNA: When people learn about what a naturopath does, they often compare them to traditional herbalists. What is the difference between the two?
PCL: A naturopath is also a herbalist -- a medical herbalist. We [naturopaths] are trained in the western clinical sciences such as anatomy and physiology, pathology, pharmacology. Traditional herbalists are not trained in the clinical sciences that they don’t have a scientific knowledge of the human body and of illness.
In my case, I am a trained and traditional herbalist as I have researched and learned from the local herbalists prior to studying in Australia. However, I now practise evidence-based medicine -- based on modern clinical scientific research and findings, though I do blend this with traditional teachings and thought where appropriate and applicable.
|Some common illnesses Chang Leng sees on a daily basis are hypertension, diabetes, cancer, eczema, asthma/sinusitis, colds and flu gastrointestinal complaints. (Salifa Karapetyan, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY|
SNA: What sort of illnesses can a naturopath help people recover from and what common illnesses do your patients suffer from?
PCL: Many naturopaths specialise in specific areas and health conditions. All of us are trained to deal with all or most health conditions, from acute to chronic cases.
Common illnesses I see on a daily basis would be hypertension, diabetes, cancer, eczema, asthma/sinusitis, colds and flu gastrointestinal complaints, female hormonal disorders and male infertility. I consult and treat all conditions and people of all ages too, even if you are on pharmaceutical medication, I can safely integrate my therapy with that without safety issues.
SNA: Can naturopath be the first choice for a patient?
PCL: Yes, sometimes we are primary health care physicians. In most cases of emergency, I send patients to casualty or emergency as Western medicine is best suited for those cases. I tend to treat conditions that are more chronic, however, as many people are cautious of pharmaceutical medications and many don’t want chemical remedies, many of my clients come to me as the first choice, and that’s fine.
SNA: After how long can patients start seeing results from naturopathic treatments?
PCL: The results depend on the patient’s medical history, genetic background, and individual health parametres. However, I always teach patients that natural medicine takes a bit longer to see results and that the best way to deal with illness is to persevere and be patient. Shortcuts are not worth it, as they only produce short-term solutions and can create more problems. Many times, however, my patients get results, quicker than I expected.
|Chang Leng consults and treats all conditions and people of all ages even if they on pharmaceutical medication. (Salifa Karapetyan, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY|
SNA: You most recently attended the International Conference on Naturopathic Medicine (ICNM) in London. How do such conferences help you?
PCL: I have been attending the ICNM conferences for 2 years now, before that, I was going back to Australia yearly for Continual Education (CE) points and to keep updated with the latest naturopathic research and strategies. A lot of the information directly relates to what is going on here in our country and what I see daily.
It was a meeting of naturopaths from all over the world and 3 days of heavy scientific information from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. What was striking was that many of the findings confirmed that I’ve been doing the right thing, employing the correct strategies and remedies here in the Seychelles. I got the chance to network with many naturopaths and to mentor some students.
SNA: Our country has not been spared from non-communicable diseases and the numbers are increasing yearly. What would you advise the population?
PCL: I would advise the Seychellois people to change their life by transforming their health. They can easily do this by being responsible for their health and make dietary, mental and lifestyle changes. That’s all it takes to stop this surge in degenerative diseases as well as many socioeconomic and national problems. Science proves that all these diseases and disarray are caused by poor diet and lifestyle. Don’t make choices that will age and kill you faster - make informed food choices that will improve the quality of your life.
SNA: What are your plans for the future?
PCL: Well, I plan to continue doing good naturopathic work for Seychelles and the world, in one way or another. Seychelles is also a sick and chronically diseased entity that needs a lot of healing. I am working with people in the private sector to help solve the heroin addiction issue via means of natural medicine as all trials done and methods used have failed. Our country doesn’t have to be hostage to heroin addiction, there are many options. Just one plant can eliminate that addiction overnight or in a few hours.
People know me for my daily naturopathic education posts that I do on Facebook, so I continue to provide this free public health education campaign. I am campaigning for the decriminalization of Cannabis to allow the use of this useful plant in treating and preventing illness. I will most likely do a presentation at the next ICNM (International Conference on Naturopathic Medicine) in 2018. I have been invited to lecture in different parts of Europe and to visit medical and scientific Cannabis institutions in the U.S.
I am now known on the global scene of Naturopathy, as my work here has not been unnoticed, and has been highly rated so I have to continue to show my country and the world this brand and style of Naturopathy and my discoveries because natural medicine can make the world a better place.